Author: Dyah Umi Purnama Editor: Triani Retno A Illustrator: Gilang Permadi Translator: Sari Nursita Proofreader: Ratih Soe Origin: Central Java

Sembada was surprised that day when his comrade Dora suddenly said, “Lord Ajisaka has ordered me to take the kris.”

“Huh? What kris did you mean?” Sembada asked, bewildered.

“You know which kris. The heirloom that we’re guarding,” said Dora. “I just met with Lord  Ajisaka’s messenger from Medang Kamulan. The Lord wants me to take the kris there.” He continued, “You have the key to the safety box, don’t you? Give it to me so I can open the box and get the kris.”

“No way!” Sembada denied vehemently. “Lord Ajisaka has given an order; no one can take the kris out from the safety box but the Lord himself.” Sembada looked at Dora, suspicious. Dora probably wanted the kris for himself. The heirloom they guarded had powerful magic. It was said that there was nothing on earth that the kris couldn’t cut. Some even said the kris could split open a mountain.

Ajisaka gave his magic kris to his trusted guards, Sembada and Dora, for safe keeping. He ordered Sembada to keep the key to the safety box, and he ordered Dora to clean the kris once a week.

Ajisaka had gone to Medang Kamulan kingdom to defeat a giant named Dewata Cengkar. The giant was very wicked; he liked to eat human meat. A lot of people had complained to Ajisaka about this. The giant had even started to eat the people in Ajisaka’s dominion, the Bumi Mijeti kingdom.

Ajisaka intended to defeat the giant. Before he left he had ordered Sembada and Dora to closely guard his magic kris. The kris was not to be given to anyone until he came and picked it up himself. That was why Sembada insisted to guard the key Ajisaka had trusted to his care.

“I won’t give the safety box key to anyone except to Lord Ajisaka himself!” Sembada said firmly. “You just want to take the kris for yourself, don’t you?”

“How dare you accuse me like that!” Dora yelled in anger. “I am a loyal servant to Lord Ajisaka. I have no intent to own the kris myself whatsoever. It was Lord Ajisaka himself that sent a message to me, to take the kris to Medang Kamulan.”

“I don’t believe you!” Sembada was getting more suspicious. “I will fight anyone who’s trying to take the kris!” he said furiously.

“I uphold Lord Ajisaka’s order above anything else!” Dora shouted. “I will kill anyone who’s trying to deter me from taking the kris!”

Dora attacked Sembada right away. Sembada ducked and countered the attack with one of his own. A fierce fight immediately ensued. Both of them were Ajisaka’s senior guards. They were both tough fighters.

After a while, both of them pulled their own kris. Dora stabbed his kris to Sembada at the same time Sembada thrust his kris to him. They both died from the fatal wound.

Meanwhile, Ajisaka paced in the Medang Kamulan palace. He was restless, waiting for someone. He had defeated Dewata Cengkar, but the giant managed to escape to the South Sea. The giant had transformed into a white alligator who liked to drown the ships sailing in the area.

Only Ajisaka’s magic kris could kill the giant. Ajisaka had sent a messenger to Dora. He wanted Dora to take his magic kris to Medang Kamulan kingdom.

Finally, Ajisaka decided to go home to Bumi Mijeti and take the kris by himself. When he arrived at the palace, he was very surprised to find both of his loyal guards dead in the armory.

“Alas, I forgot!” Ajisaka hit his head. He just remembered his order and his guards’s unsurpassed loyalty. He very much regretted his decision. He should’ve get the kris himself instead of ordering Dora to take it to Medang Kamulan. If only he didn’t order Dora, this tragedy could be prevented.

But what’s done is done. To commemorate his guards’s loyalty, Ajisaka made a poem which then referred as the origin of Javanese’s alphabet: Hanacaraka.

Hana Caraka (There were two guards)
Data Sawala (Fighting each other)
Padha Jayanya (Both equal in strength)
Maga Bathanga (Both finally end up dead)

This post is also available in Bahasa Indonesia.

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